“What exactly do you want?” Zhuo Yifeng, who had remained silent during the entire encounter, finally spoke up. He stepped forward and shielded Yun Ruoyan and Guan Ruliu while pressing the team of six.
“We’re all peers, aren’t we? We just wanted to check up on you guys since we’ve met so coincidentally.” Guan Tianyu glanced askance at Zhuo Yifeng.
“We don’t care for your concern! Please leave immediately,” Zhuo Yifeng exclaimed, no trace of politeness in his voice.
“What, you think we’ll leave just because you told us to?” Pei Ziao scoffed.
“Pei Ziao,” Yun Ruoyan finally began. “I’m warning you, Master Mo told us not to fight each other. Stay away from us!”
Yun Ruoyan stared directly at Pei Ziao, who flinched upon being reminded of some of his most unpleasant memories. Yun Ruoyan’s gaze was filled with anger and deep loathing, something that Pei Ziao had never understood. Where had such deep emotion come from? He had tried to figure it out, and he had tried to get closer to Yun Ruoyan, but to no avail.
Finally, when Yun Ruoyan had knocked him off a cliff while trying to acquire the sage-grade amaranthine sun, Pei Ziao completely gave up on trying to improve his relationship with Yun Ruoyan.
From then on, Pei Ziao and Yun Ruoyan had been bitter enemies.
Right then, the look that Yun Ruoyan gave him was exactly the same as when she had knocked him off the cliff: a vile hatred, stripped bare, as if she would only be appeased if she were to take his life. Pei Ziao was still unsure of what exactly had sparked such hatred, but he knew that he might never find the answer. After all, it wasn’t as if a reason was needed to loathe and detest someone.
“If you don’t want trouble, then leave immediately!” Yun Ruoyan continued coldly. “But if you do want trouble, then we’d be glad to oblige.”
“What? It’s not as if this forest is your home! We can go where we want!” Yi Qianying replied.
“Three versus six, hmm?” Guan Tianyu chuckled.
He knew that Yun Ruoyan and Zhuo Yifeng were rather talented, but also that Guan Ruliu was hurt and very weak. On the other hand, the six of them were in perfect condition, and they all had rather decent cultivations. If Guan Ruliu were unhurt and still a peak eighth-rank blademaster, then they might be on somewhat equal footing, but now…
“Oh, but I do want trouble!” Guan Tianyu taunted.
Zhuo Yifeng had never been one for wasting time, and the six-man team in front of them was clearly here to cause trouble. Before Yun Ruoyan could speak, he had already retrieved the bow from his back and pulled the bowstring taut, his eyes glinting as he stared at the six youths.
“Eh, you’re the lad from the central college, aren’t you? What’re you trying to do?” The lanky male by Guan Tianyu’s side, Song Yi, stepped up in front of Guan Tianyu. Song Yi and Sun Yan were both rather talented cultivators from the northern college, and were particularly adept at fighting together. This time, they had received express instructions from the second elder to protect Guan Tianyu.
As Zhuo Yifeng aimed his bow, he warned, “You’d better not try anything funny!”
Yi Qianying, Pei Ziao, and Rong Yueshan had all seen Zhuo Yifeng’s archery for themselves, and they couldn’t help taking a step back upon seeing him draw his bow. Guan Tianyu, Song Yi, and the beady-eyed Sun Yan, however, had no idea how good his archery was.
Song Yi snorted. “You’re just some trash from the central college!”
“This batch of new students really needs to be taught a lesson,” Guan Tianyu opined. “Daring to challenge me despite being from the central college…? And you even tried to make a fool of me in public by teaming up with her!”
In order to help out Yun Ruoyan, Zhuo Yifeng had struck Guan Tianyu with his scattered leaves technique, and Guan Tianyu had remembered his face ever since. The only reason he hadn’t yet struck was because he hadn’t found a good opportunity; now that Li Mo wasn’t here and he was outnumbered, it was the perfect time to strike back.
Last time, Yun Ruoyan and Zhuo Yifeng’s combined efforts had left him publicly humiliated, and he was somewhat reluctant to violate Li Mo’s warning. His trap against Guan Ruliu and her juniors was done without leaving any evidence behind, but this time, his group had clearly provoked Yun Ruoyan, Zhuo Yifeng, and Guan Ruliu while Li Mo wasn’t present. Because it had the potential to become problematic, Guan Tianyu had no intention of attacking them personally.
“Senior Guan, if it’s something as simple as teaching some trash from the central college his place, I can do it. You don’t have to dirty your hands,” Song Yi volunteered, stepping up in front of him and cracking his knuckles.
“Junior Song, he’s all yours.” Guan Tianyu was delighted to have someone take his place.
Despite Song Yi’s taunting words, he shot a glance at Sun Yan by his side. Sun Yan nodded, extending her hands toward Zhuo Yifeng. Her jade-like arms crossed, she spread her hands apart and generated an almost invisible wind that blew toward Zhuo Yifeng.
Standing behind Zhuo Yifeng, Yun Ruoyan could clearly sense the presence of this wind. She instantly became more alert, but found to her surprise that it didn’t seem to be an attack at all. Just as the three of them were confused about the identity of the wind, Yun Ruoyan suddenly saw Song Yi pinching his hands together and making a throwing motion in their direction.
As Sun Yan continued her fanning motion, a spark of fire flew toward them from Song Yi’s hands, erupting in a blaze of fire.
Because Zhuo Yifeng was so focused on aiming his bow, he didn’t notice Song Yi’s actions. When the blaze erupted, he was caught unawares. On the other hand, Yun Ruoyan reacted quickly, tossing out a fireball that caused a gigantic explosion when it made contact with the flame.
While Yun Ruoyan’s fireball was weaker than the combination of Sun Yan’s wind and Song Yi’s flame arts, the blast was sufficient to defend against the majority of the flame, and it gave the three of them the time they needed to retreat. Zhuo Yifeng took three steps backward to avoid the brunt of the flame, then released the bow.
“Argh!” A male voice cried out in pain.
“Senior!” It was quickly followed by a girl’s shrill shriek.
Only when the flames vanished did Yun Ruoyan, Zhuo Yifeng, and Guan Ruliu figure out what had happened. Opposite them, Song Yi lay slumped on the ground, his chest penetrated by an arrow that Zhuo Yifeng had shot out.
The arrow that Zhuo Yifeng had shot out almost as a reflex had actually hit the skinny Song Yi in his chest!
“You—” Song Yi pointed an accusing finger at Zhuo Yifeng. Before he could finish his words, however, dark red blood pulsed out of his mouth.
“Senior Brother, are you alright?” Sun Yan knelt down and leaned over him, so anxious she seemed as if she were about to cry.
“I—” The moment Song Yi opened his mouth, blood poured out again.
Given Zhuo Yifeng’s transcendent skill at archery, as well as how close they were standing, even an unintentional shot could easily take one’s life.
“I— I—” Song Yi never managed to finish his last words. His breath stuck in his chest, his eyes rolled back, and he died.
“Senior!” Sun Yan cried out shrilly, almost in disbelief. The two of them were senior and junior, but also a couple. Sun Yan naturally wasn’t about to take Song Yi’s death lying down. She put down Song Yi’s corpse and screamed hoarsely to Zhuo Yifeng, “I’ll kill you!”
Zhuo Yifeng had shot Song Yi only in defense against his attack. He hadn’t been trying to kill him, but he wouldn’t have hesitated to do so if he proved a lethal threat. As a result, Zhuo Yifeng didn’t think that he had to explain himself. “If you want revenge, come at me!”
Sun Yan vanished from everyone’s sight, shocking the gathered crowd.
“What just happened? How did Senior Sun suddenly vanish?” Yi Qianying cried out in shock.
Yun Ruoyan and Guan Ruliu both started in surprise before rushing to Zhuo Yifeng’s side, standing back to back in a defensive formation.
“Senior Sun’s a particularly advanced wind-attuned cultivator in the northern college,” Guan Tianyu began, his voice cocky and delighted. He rubbed his hands in glee, excited to watch the drama unfold. “She can already use the wind-attuned spiritual energy in the air to hide herself in plain sight. The reason she hasn’t attacked you yet was to stop us from trouncing you, but you actually killed Song Yi! She alone can kill all three of you easily—look forward to your deaths!”
“Everyone, be careful.” Guan Ruliu looked alertly all around her. “Sun Yan’s cultivation isn’t advanced enough to support her using such an advanced technique for long. Don’t give her any opportunity to strike, and she’ll have to reveal herself sooner or later.”
“She’s there!” Yun Ruoyan saw a shadow appear right in front of her, but it vanished again near-instantaneously.
“Not good—her cultivation might not be advanced enough to support longer periods of stealth, but she’s using her speed to evade us as well! She’s only appearing for brief glimpses at a time, and we won’t be able to catch her like this!”
Just then, a deep cut appeared on Zhuo Yifeng’s arm, and fresh blood immediately spurted out of the wound...Previous Chapter Next Chapter